In February 2012, the new CX-5 was released, equipped with the full range of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY including completely new engines, transmissions, body and chassis. Providing customers with driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance, the CX-5 embodies the vision of "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom".
The CX-5 originated in 2005 when the Mottainai Campaign began spreading worldwide. The concept expresses the idea that we should not waste natural resources. Many people developed an awareness of global warming. "Earth-friendly" became a keyword in consumer behavior. Under these circumstances, Mazda began thinking about what vehicles it should provide for customers. A variety of members, from executive officers to young employees, assembled to discuss the issues. Inoue remembers, "Members seriously talked about how to pursue, in Mazda's unique way, outstanding environmental and safety performance that would ensure sustainable driving pleasure, without simply going with our competitors," while bearing in mind the increasing trend regarding electric technologies. These ideas were represented in the vision of "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" announced in March 2007.
"We specifically didn't want to develop products that only a limited number of customers would be able to buy. Rather, we aimed to deliver vehicles with outstanding environmental and safety performance at an affordable price to customers worldwide, including emerging countries. To create measures to achieve that goal, the discussion culminated on the innovation of internal combustion engines and other base technologies to which electric devices would be added (Building-Block Strategy) (Fig. 1). We commenced development of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY in this way."
It has been more than 120 years since the first automobile was built. SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY was developed in an unprecedented way by drastically reviewing established ideas about all components including the transmission, body and chassis, as well as the internal combustion engine, according to the following concept: "Free yourself from convention and precedent. Success will be found after your pursuit of theory." Looking back on when he was working on the development project, Inoue says, "I repeatedly asked the engineers about the reasons for the geometry of a specific part and whether or not they were free from stereotypes. My aim was to exceed our customers' expectations in every aspect."
Their efforts were behind numerous breakthroughs that led to SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY far exceeding conventional technological limits.
Mazda launched the CX-5, fully equipped with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, in Japan in February 2012. The clean diesel engine-powered CX-5 achieves excellent fuel economy of 18.6 km/L (JC08 mode), second to none among SUVs*1. The CX-5 powered by gasoline engine SKYACTIV-G 2.0 has among the best fuel economy in its class at 16.0 km/L (JC08 mode for 2WD vehicles). Regarding safety performance, the CX-5 earned Top Safety Pick 2012 in crash safety tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.
It was also awarded the highest five-star rating when tested according to the Euro NCAP's*2 safety performance assessment standards, proving that it could deliver the world's highest-level safety performance. Consequently, the CX-5 marks the first step in realizing the goal envisioned in "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom." Inoue says that when he first drove the CX-5 on a trial basis in its development phase he had a feeling that Mazda had achieved a breakthrough in its automobile development. After the launch, orders for the CX-5 numbered some 16,000 within about two months, exceeding even the projected annual sales target of 12,000 in Japan. The feeling that Inoue had was turned into a conviction.
- *1SUVs sold in Japan including hybrids, micro-minis and imported vehicles, as of January 2012. Survey by Mazda
- *2Euro NCAP is an independent agency comprised by the transport authorities of European countries. It has awarded automotive safety ratings since 1997.
Mazda Motor Corporation
Inoue opened his way to automobile manufacturing by Mazda's victory of 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1991, in which he took part as one of the racing staff at age 29. When Mazda won the championship, which at that time many believed was impossible for a Japanese vehicle, many car lovers said to Inoue, "thank you for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans."
"People say thank you when you go far and away beyond their expectations. I will continue my automobile development efforts so that we can continue receiving words of thanks from many people."
Mazda is going ahead every chance it gets to meet future challenges. Inoue and his team members make tireless efforts for words of thanks from those impressed by their products.